You know in all this confusion I forgot which TTAG post featured members of our Armed Intelligentsia complaining that coffee put them off their game, shooting-wise. Well does it? Does it, punk?

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50 Responses to CapArms Question of the Day: Got Coffee?

  1. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shakes, the shakes become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion.

  2. Caffeine has never really impacted me one way or another. As such, I’m not a huge morning coffee drinker. I prefer it after dinner.

    What does affect me is a slight tremor, which fortunately is predominantly in my left arm at this time. I used to be able to hit the tip of a cat’s tail with my Crossman Classic when I was a kid. That taught them to stay out from under our bird feeder!

    My marksmanship isn’t nearly as good these days, regardless of caliber. It drives me crazy.

  3. I believe the original comments on that we’re on the content contest piece about alcohol and firearms.

    Coffee used to make me a crackhead mentally. It doesn’t anymore but I don’t drink a lot of it. It doesn’t seem to affect me physically.

    • After yesterday’s comments I’m guessing that excuse is usually “Sorry, I was thinking about boobs. Really nice boobs.”.

      Hey, it’s a good excuse. Better than mine at least, which is usually something like “Sorry, what? I was thinking about how annoying that guy over there is and how satisfying it would be to slash his tires. I missed? Oh, I didn’t even notice. What are we talking about again?”.

  4. I already got the Don Knotts shaky hands syndrome. It is hard for me to imagine a hostage who knows me saying “take the shot man!” Coffee makes it worse.

  5. I drink three cups of coffee a day. One before breakfast, one after lunch and one after dinner.

  6. As an RN for 30 years, I drank a LOT of coffee. Most of it very bad. Never bothered me. I could drink a pot full and go right to bed. Now that I’m a “seasoned citizen,” I only drink about 6 to 8 cups a day, and have not noticed it makes a particle of difference at the range if I go early or late. Seems to me that a lot of this is all in our minds, but some folks are affected more than others, of course.

    • Medic then night shift ER nurse for ~40 years (lost count}. I am useless until my caffeine level is therapeutic! Hospitals seem to lean towards bad coffee, but nurses build tolerances for all kinds of things, bad coffee being the least offensive. Coffee is the elixir of life and has no bad effects on me. Singing drunks on the other hand…….

    • Try this: 1 pot water to 1 filter full of coffee.
      4 cups used to get me through a 24. Now it’s a pot a night.

    • When I was on the high school rifle team shooting prone, caffeine before a match was strictly verboten, it amplifies the heart beat causing the sight picture to bob up and down. Breath control was also employed to momentarily cause the heart to skip a beat just as the trigger broke.

  7. Handgun shooting off-hand, (eg, bullseye)? Yes. I’ll get flyer rounds, where I twitch while pulling the trigger and maybe two rounds, maybe three, end up out in the 7 or 6 ring.

    Every other shooting discipline, there’s not much effect.

    TIG welding? Oh man. I can’t have coffee within three days of trying to weld on guns. I end up sticking the electrode again, and again, and again, and again… as a result, coffee is a special treat for me now.

    • Do you use a TIG Finger?

      They’re great for stabilizing and eliminating shakes w/o burning yourself while working on intricate stuff. I used to rock them when screwing up meant $10K or more down the drain and likely getting fired immediately.

    • “TIG welding? Oh man. I can’t have coffee within three days of trying to weld on guns.”

      The same for me with the really *small* SMD PCB work. I’m so fearful of ruining a little Icom HT I’ve decided to just bite the bullet and order a 0.5 or 1 mm soldering iron and attack it under a floor-stand mounted lit magnifying glass.

      Or maybe give one of those tiny hot–air guns they use for lifting flatpack ICs a try.

      Aging sucks a mighty big one. Avoid it at (most) all costs…

  8. Gee coffee is my only habit. And now Science© tells us it’s oh so good for you. I usually only drink coffee in the AM. No jitters. I can’t blame my aim on anything other than fading eyesight(no bifocals yet)…

  9. Until I’ve had my morning cuppa Joe or three, nobody near me is safe from my crankiness. Nobody. But once I’ve fixed up on caffeine, I become the mellow source of human kindness that you’ve all come to know and love.

  10. No stops to Starbucks on the way to the Range. However, breakfast is a must, so we stop at the local diner. By then, I’m ready for unleaded. husband fully leaded coffee. If it’s crunch time, stop by the local sandwich shop and drink bottled water. Too much coffee, I’ll have the shakes, no food, I’ll have the shakes.

  11. Usually stop at the local diner on the way to the Range. By then I’m ready for unleaded coffee for me, husband’s coffee fully leaded. I will get the shakes with too much coffee, or without food. In a rush, and it’s a local sandwich shop to go, with bottled water.

  12. Oh hell no. I drink a pot in the morning and more in the evening. All day I say. I put coffee in my chili, I make a dry rub for my steaks. Now I found out 1 cup a day reduces pancreatic cancer risk by 4 percent. Which by my math my great grand kids won’t get it.

    It was “lifer juice” in the ARMY. Didn’t even start drinking it heavily until I was out. Now the pot is always hot. I can drink a pot and sleep like a baby.

    Does not affect my shooting at all. No shakes, no nervousness. The only thing that affects range time is I need reading glasses to focus up close.

  13. Coffee? Usually not.

    My pre-match breakfast is a giant Slim-Jim and a sugar free Red Bull.

    A lot depends on your tolerance. My next door neighbors growing up smoked like chimneys and drank coffee from 6AM until midnight – everyday. They just got used to it I guess…

  14. That video looked like a reasonable escalation of force continuum to me.

    On coffee and shooting; I’m in the shaky hands side with too much coffee, and would cut back on it before competing or attempting particularly difficult shots. However, I find my style of defensive pistol shooting at reasonable ranges (7 yards or so) to be essentially unaffected, even though if I slow down and try for precision, rather than rapid, coarse accuracy, my sights are shaking pretty badly.

    I also find though that with a pistol, my mind is the problem and my hands do their best work when I think about it the least. Maybe the shaking is largely psychological.

    On a side note, I once had a couple of guys ask me to describe what I was doing to get such rapid reliable hits on a certain drill. They video taped my explanation, in great detail, of my grip, sight picture, technique and everything else. Then they showed me the video of me shooting the drill, in slow-mo. I was wrong about virtually everything I thought was happening and that I was doing. I still shot the drill very well, I just had no real idea of how I was doing it. That was eye opening, but aside from learning to let my hands do the work, I’ve no idea how to capitalize on it.

  15. People are flabbergasted when I say I don’t drink coffee regularly because I don’t want to form a physical addiction to something that impairs me if I have to go without it. Then those same people guzzle down 200 mg of caffeine to make it out the door in the morning and think I’m the one who is nuts.

    (the fact that I don’t regularly drink it means that it works when I really need it, though…)

  16. I don’t drink coffee at all so I have no idea. The only time I’ll have something with caffeine is a soda once and while.

  17. Idon’tcareifcoffeecausesmetomissbecauseIcanjustkeepshootinguntilIhitsomethingandIonlydrinkaboutapotaday.

  18. I usually drink tea. Coffee tears my stomach up unless I eat beforehand and take Nexium. Same with my parents, and I expect my kid sister will end up being the same way once she finishes college. I drank black coffee (sometimes whole cups of straight espresso) for about 10 years, but then a few years ago I got a peptic ulcer and my doctor told me to lay off the acidic drinks.

  19. I cannot start my day without first having my usual healthy breakfast – four cups of freshly ground Black Rifle coffee and an Arturo Fuente Double Chateau.

  20. My mug is 24 onces and its never empty during the day.
    2 cups before 9PM or sleep is totally absent requiring more coffee. Has it affected my long range shooting. Absolutely. Now its handguns only at 10 yards or less.
    Hasn’t affected that much……………………yet.

  21. Competitive pressure messes with me more than caffeine. I’ve had 2 cups of coffee on mornings when I don’t care about the score and shoot my best. Other days doing everything I can to mentally prepare, including avoiding coffee and shot awful. Something I just have to deal with.

  22. Without coffee the world would be a much more dangerous place, at least, my part of the world. The sun does not rise and birds don’t sing until I have had three cups.

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